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USDA Invites Applications for Grants to Strengthen Rural Cooperatives and Expand Access to New and Better Markets for People in Rural America

Brent Wucher
Amherst, MA
Release Date

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is inviting applications for grants to strengthen rural cooperatives and expand access to new and better markets for people in rural America.

USDA is making the $5.8 million in grants available under the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program to start, improve or expand rural cooperatives and other mutually owned businesses that will help improve economic conditions in rural areas.

Nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for grants to provide technical and cooperative development assistance to individuals and rural businesses. 

The maximum award is $200,000. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis through a national competition.

USDA is particularly interested in applications that will advance Biden-Harris Administration priorities to:

  • Reduce climate pollution and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support to rural communities.
  • Ensure all rural residents have equitable access to Rural Development (RD) programs and benefits from RD-funded projects; and 
  • Help rural communities recover economically through more and better market opportunities and through improved infrastructure.

Additional information on these key priorities is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points.

Electronic applications must be submitted to grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 26, 2023.

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss their project and ask any questions about the RCDG program or the application process. Contact information for state offices can be found at http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices.

Additional information on the required materials and how to apply for the RCDG program are available on page   25369 of the April 26, 2023, Federal Register.

If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.



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